Petition Call an immediate general election due to authoritarian Coronavirus measures
Hold a general election: there is likely no opportunity until May 2024 to replace the Government. This could mean 3 more years of lockdowns & increasing restrictions on our personal freedoms. The election should be held no later than 30th November 2021 - this timetable is feasible as proved in 2017.
The Government have implemented the draconian Coronavirus Act which restricts our personal freedoms. Whilst there is opportunity for MPs to vote against it, there is no ability for constituents to replace these MPs, who were voted in under very different circumstances. The government can change the legislation whenever they want, with seemingly little parliamentary scrutiny. This has allowed them to introduce measures we were previously assured would not happen, such as vaccine passports.
This response was given on 15 December 2021
The Government does not believe now is the right time for an election; our focus is delivering a national recovery that makes the United Kingdom stronger, healthier and more prosperous than before.
Read the response in full
The timing of general elections is currently governed through the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011. In line with the Government’s 2019 Manifesto pledge, the Government has introduced a Bill before Parliament to repeal this legislation. This Bill will allow, if the Prime Minister decides that it is in the national interest, for an early general election to be called before a Parliament is automatically dissolved at the end of a maximum five year term.
However, the Government does not believe now is the right time for an election. We need to focus on ensuring that we build back better, continue to tackle the pandemic, and deliver on the manifesto commitments on which we were elected.
The Government is currently implementing its manifesto programme, alongside our response to COVID-19; we are focusing on economic recovery, supporting employment and ensuring that we invest to level up communities across the United Kingdom. The Government is also committed to making green industries fit for the future and has committed to an ambitious Net Zero target by 2050.
In our response to COVID-19 we continue to take proportionate and responsible action to respond to the changing situation, and assess the impact of our measures not just on the virus, but on the economy, on education, and on non-COVID health, including mental health.
The Prime Minister announced on Wednesday 8 December that England will move to Plan B as set out in our Autumn and Winter Plan. The most recent data showed that the Omicron variant has a very high growth rate and is spreading rapidly, and required this cautious and decisive step in order to slow the spread and reduce the chances of the NHS coming under unsustainable pressure. A "wait and see" strategy could mean we're in a much worse position by the time we intervene; with a doubling rate of 2.5-3 days even a short delay could put us in a much worse position - meaning more severe restrictions needed to bring the virus under control.
We are confident that our balanced and proportionate approach, designed to buy time to find out more and get boosters in arms, is the right one at this time. Other European countries have gone further in reintroducing restrictions. For instance Austria has been in a full lockdown, which now continues for the unvaccinated. Germany’s national and regional leaders have introduced major restrictions for the unvaccinated, including barring them from restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops. An evening lockdown (between 1700 – 0500) is currently in place in the Netherlands.
The Government will continue to look closely at all the emerging data. Vaccines remain our best line of defence and it is now more vital than ever that those who are unvaccinated come forward, and those eligible for their boosters book when called. The booster dose is now more critical than ever. That is why we have launched the Omicron Emergency Boost, a national mission unlike anything our vaccination programme has seen before. Everyone eligible aged 18 and over in England will have the chance to get their booster before the New Year. From Monday 13 December adults over 30 have been able to book online, and over 18s will be able to book from Wednesday 15 December.
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